There’s something about being on a bike that screams ‘Freedom’: you feel every stone under your wheels; you smell the farms, the livestock and local kitchens; you feel the heat burning on your face but it feels good; you feel the wind almost pushing you off, and when it rains it still feels great, why? Because you’re on the open road…
After a 9 month trip around the world, which took me through India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Borneo, Thailand, Vietnam, The Philippines and Australia, I nearly lost all my photos and videos due to a faulty hard-drive, well I may have dropped it, but i’m still blaming Apple, as after the upgrade it would no longer work, so PLEASE be cautious with your memories. I learnt the hard way but £800 later and I have my stuff back, thanks to Kroll Ontrack – Data Recovery
TIP: Backup everything in at least three places. I recommend your computer, a portable hard drive and one that stays at home. Quite often my laptop and portable hard drive are in the same bag so if something was to happen to it, I’d be in trouble, which is why I ‘now’ leave one at home.
Now it would be a waste for me to leave all of this sitting on a hard drive at home, so here it is….enjoy!
There are certain monuments and places that have to be seen, some can be a little disappointing but you’re happy that you’ve ticked that box and others exceed all expectations. I have to admit at first I was a little disappointed with the Taj Mahal as for some reason I expected it to be a lot bigger, but our guide did really well in telling its story. The Taj Mahal was commissioned by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, in 1632 and took over 20 years to build at a cost of, what would be today, approximately $830 million US dollars. Its main purpose was to protect the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died during the birth of their 14th child. The architecture and build itself is quite incredible when you think about the technology, tools and resources that were available to them at the time and the intricacy is quite incredible, which Lissie explains here really well – www.curiouscolumbus.com/taj-mahal-india/. There are rumours that after it was built a hand was cut from all of the workers to ensure that it could not be replicated again, but no one seems to be sure how true this rumour is.
The views from Ranthambore Fort we’re incredible and there are many cheeky Hanuman Langurs to keep you entertained. Just make sure you hold on to your belongings, cameras and phones as they’ll grab almost anything they can.
Unfortunately we weren’t lucky enough to see any Tigers, we missed one on our morning safari by a few hours, but there is so much else to see such as Sambar Deer, Sloth Bears, Langurs, Macaques, Lizards, Turtles, and Snakes, and almost 300 bird species.
In Jaipur we looked at an amazing Community Volunteering Project that helps orphaned and destitute women and children, along with remote, poor, rural communities. The services they offer include: an ambulance and emergency medical unit, a bus service to take the kids to school, a vocational skills centre, an education and shelter, to name a few. Not to mention feed thousands of street kids every day.
This was one of the remote villages that we visited outside of Jaipur and when we first arrived it looked like no one was there except some empty grey/brown mud houses. However, upon arrival a sea of colour flowed out from every hut to greet us and welcome us into their ‘homes’.
Here you can see inside one of the classrooms which was built as a result of help from a German student on a medical internship. She met the founder who at the time was teaching kids on the side on the street and asked her what she was doing. She explained that she wanted to provide an education to those that didn’t have the opportunity to which the German student then asked, “if you could have anything what would it be?” and she responded with, “a safe place to teach these children’. Well in fact, she first asked for some pens and paper and the student told her to think bigger, so once she returned home she setup a fund with her friends in the medical industry and they raised enough money to build the school, a medical centre, the vocational training centre and a shelter.
Here you can see a child sleeping whilst her mother is working. Without the centre her mother would not have the skills or knowledge to perform this job and now she can provide an income for her and her family.
No journey to India is complete without meeting a Baba, and here I introduce to you Aloo Baba in Pushkar.
Local shepherds in Pushkar tending to their flock.
Riding the trains of India has to be done, and is a journey that you will never forget.
Isa Khan Niyazi’s tomb, located near Humayun’s Tomb.
Spice Market in Delhi
Spice Market in Delhi
IF YOU ARE THINKING OF PLANNING A TRIP TO INDIA AND NEED ANY TIPS OR ADVICE PLEASE DON’T HESITATE TO GET IN TOUCH.